Installation & Software
The installation process for the Sound Blaster Titanium HD is much like the installation process for any PCI Express board. However, unlike some we have tested in the past, this one does not require a four pin power connection. We had the board seated in place with the installation disc running within a minute or so.
Also, unlike some other boards tested, the software package that comes with the Titanium HD is quite a large one weighing in at a bit over 200MB. Now, we can only hope that this is not going to be bloat ware at this point and that rather it's all goodies to get the new board humming along.
Below can be seen some of the audio configuration options presented the first time you start everything up.
The actual process of installing the software from the disc took a little longer than expected, and actually hung for a brief minute before completing and exciting of its own free will. Following a reboot you will be able to launch the control interface for the first time. Some images of this can be seen throughout this page.
As you can see from the screenshot above, there are three modes to choose from; either game, music and movie, or music creation. Basically put, most people will spend the majority of their time in music and movie mode and will make the change when needed to the other modes of operation to allow for specific controls and features to be accessed.
All three modes are quite attractive when being used and operate smoothly and efficiently when needed, managing to cover the wide spectrum of capabilities this board possesses by wisely splitting everything into three modes mentioned above. We really see this as being a necessary requirement at the moment with such heavily spec'd products like this.
Overall, a very smooth installation with no problems at all, but the best part is the comprehensive driver Creative has built up over the years, which while having compatibility issues in the past, surely must be one of the best in its current form.
THX True Studio is also part of the software package and comprises of some interesting processing algorithms that allow the user to expand compressed music and also to create a more true representation of what the original engineer intended.
This all sounds great in theory, as it always does, but using more processing to allow something to sound un-processed? - Well, you can insert your own metaphor for that one. It's pretty simple stuff, but that shiny THX logo on the card keeps doors revolving, so all is well in 'silicone valley'. For the record, though, the crystallizer does make a notable improvement to some compressed music depending on the damage done of course.
It's not really that the THX add-on bit is totally useless, because it can be made quite useful. No, it's more so that THX has become such a flagrant marketing tool these days that what was once a sign of true quality now only really means a deal has been struck in someone's office 'back at HQ'. Such is the suchness of life.